Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Cook it Outdoors" by James Beard and "KCMR Casseroles and Salad" - Pig Hamburgers and Lentil Confetti Salad

Date I made these recipes: May 31, 2010 (Memorial Day)

Cook it Outdoors by James Beard
Published by: M. Barrows and Company
Copyright: 1941
Recipe: Pig (Pork) Hamburgers – p. 88

KCMR Casseroles and Salads by KCMR Radio, Mason City, Iowa; recipe submitted by Sylvia Duenow
Published by KCMR
Copyright: 1992
Recipe: Lentil Confetti Salad – p. 37

Oh, the pressure.

Memorial Day usually signals the start of the grilling season but for the past two years, our grill has been down and out.

Now, we had the replacement part all ready to go, having purchased it two years ago in, of all places, Pamida (a modern day five and dime store) in my hometown in Michigan. But did we get it installed? No, reader, we did not. Given that half the year is cold and wintery, where was the pressure?

But now it’s fixed and off my husband’s “honey do” list and we have achieved grill and so the only thing left to decide was what to make.

This wasn’t easy because I’ve already cooked from most of my grilling or barbecue cookbooks but then I spied my James Beard Cook it Outdoors cookbook and we were set.

Or were we? James Beard was more of a gourmet (or is it gourmand) than just a chef or a cook and so finding just a basic burger was a challenge. Lucky for us there was the pig burgers recipe (although seriously—can we talk about how unappetizing that name is?); easy to make and fun to eat!

All that was left was to find a salad recipe and for that, I turned to my stash of community cookbooks. Nobody knows how to put together a picnic salad recipe like a hometown cook.

Although the taste flavors of this salad – Italian – clashed a bit with the Asian-oriented pig burgers, I made it anyway as it seemed more heart healthy than some of the others and it took less time (can we talk about the inordinate number of recipes that required overnight chilling?). And on a sunny holiday weekend, I am all about time.

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend!

Pig Hamburgers – no quantity listed but it made about 12 burgers
3 pounds lean pork, ground
½ teaspoon sweet basil (Italian)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon grated garlic
½ teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

Mix the pork and the herbs and spices thoroughly, using gingers to blend it all. Shape into think cakes about three inches in diameter and grill over the coals. Serve with buns and barbecue sauce.

Lentil Confetti Salad – makes 5 small servings
½ cup Lentils (1/4 lb)
1 ½ cups water
1 cup cooked rice
½ cup Italian dressing (Can we talk about how many choices there are? Sheesh)
½ cup tomatoes, seeded and diced
¼ cup chopped green pepper
3 tablespoons chopped onion
2 tablespoons pimento
2 tablespoons stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons parsley (garnish)

Wash and drain lentils. (Lentils require no soaking). Place in heavy saucepan, add water and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Do not overcook! Lentils should be tender with skin intact. Drain immediately. Combine with rice, pour dressing over mixture and refrigerate until cool. Add remaining ingredients, except parsley. Mix well. Garnish with parsley.

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